Malaysiakini News

Malaysia could risk driving away fortune with Proton 2.0

Rais Hussin  |  Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT | All cars have four wheels. That sounds like a tautology. The latter means something which is so obvious that it is practically deprived of any new value. If not four wheels, how else can a car balance itself on the road? That's tautology - a circular logic.

But Citroen, which belongs to France, once came up with the concept of a vehicle that could run on three wheels should the fourth tire go flat.

In fact, as early as 1960s, barely half a century after the founding of the first Model T by Henry Ford, the seedling of the idea to revolutionize the car industry was there.

It wasn't just about speed or safety, as Volvo, was known for. It was about a whole spectrum of change and possibilities. Even the late Robert McNamara, the defence secretary of US, prior to his role as the defence advisor to President John F Kennedy, was hard at it at Ford.

When he saw the statistics of the fatalities of US drivers shooting up in the 1950s, he instructed all drivers to buckle up. True enough, the injuries and death came dropping down like a lead balloon. In essence, that is the car industry - subject to perennial revolution, both big and small.

Over the years car enthusiasts have been unrelenting in wanting to make the vehicles run better, safer and faster. Be it oil, diesel, electric, solar, or potentially long-lasting batteries, the ingenuity of the human mind has never given up on making the "perfect car" - one that can either be mass consumed or sold to high-end niche customers.

Nevertheless, even to those that have succeeded still face a variety of issues, not least safe airbags that turn deadly when they suddenly inflate without the slightest of impacts. The global recall of the latter was enough to send Takada airbag producer into bankruptcy.

As for high end customers like BMW...

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